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Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Page: 207


Senator Ronaldson asked the Special Minister of State, upon notice, on 26 November 2008:

(1)   How many staff employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 are currently employed under the category of ‘principal adviser’.

(2) (a)   In which ministerial offices are these principal advisers employed; and (b) if there is more than one principal adviser in a specific ministerial office, please specify which office or offices.

(3)   Can a detailed accounting of the salary that is paid to each principal adviser be provided.

(4)   Can a detailed accounting of the superannuation benefits that are paid to each principal adviser be provided.

(5)   Are these principal advisers authorised to use COMCAR services without the presence of an accompanying member of Parliament or senator.

(6) (a)   How many of these principal advisers have been issued with a car by the Government; and (b) can a list be provided detailing the make, model and value of each car issued to each principal adviser.

(7)   For each principal adviser, can a detailed accounting be provided of the costs incurred over the past 12 months in the use of their Government-issued car for: (a) petrol; (b) car insurance; and (c) car maintenance.

(8)   Have these principal advisers been issued with a mobile phone by the Government; if so, can a detailed accounting be provided of the mobile phone costs incurred by these principal advisers over the past 12 months.

(9) (a)   Are these principal advisers entitled to a performance salary bonus of any type; if so, what are the performance criteria of this performance bonus scheme that must be satisfied to receive it; and (b) if applicable: (i) what is the value of the bonus performance scheme for principal advisers, both in the aggregate and itemised per principal adviser, and (ii) how much has been spent in performance bonuses for principal advisers as at 26 November 2008.


Senator Faulkner (Special Minister of State and Cabinet Secretary) —The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:

(1)   Four.

(2)  

(a)   The Principal Advisers are employed by the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the Treasurer.

(b)   Two Principal Advisers are employed by the Prime Minister.

(3)   The salary range for a Principal Adviser is $132,800 to $192,400 per annum. Only the range is provided so as not to identify personal information of individual employees. Two of the four Principal Advisers are paid outside the salary range.

(4)   Depending on their individual circumstances, Principal Advisers may be eligible to be a member of the CSS, PSS or PSSap or may have employer superannuation contributions of nine percent paid to an eligible superannuation fund of their choice. Individual details are not supplied to protect the private financial information of individuals.

(5)   The Principal Advisers have not used COMCAR services in Canberra without the presence of an accompanying Senator or Member except to the extent permitted in the case of all employees of the Prime Minister, who may use a COMCAR:

(a)   To travel to or from RAAF Base Fairbairn when embarking or returning from travel with or on behalf of the Prime Minister; or

(b)   When travelling along the same route to meet the Prime Minister; or

(c)   When travelling as part of the Prime Minister’s advance party.

(6)  

(a)   Three.

(b)   One Ford Territory (monthly lease cost of $1067.78), one Toyota Prius (monthly lease cost of $945.97) and one Holden Calais (monthly lease cost of $954.61).

(7)

Petrol

Car Insurance

Car Maintenance

Principal Adviser 1

$1,505.85

Car Insurance is included in the lease costs.

Car Maintenance is included in the lease costs.

Principal Adviser 2

$1,738.34

Principal Adviser 3

$165.85

 

(8)   Department of Finance and Deregulation does not supply mobile phones to Principal Advisers. This question will need to be directed to the home departments of the relevant Ministers.

(9)   There is no provision for performance bonuses for any employee under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984.